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  1. #1
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    Default Insulation backing

    Good Morning!

    Would someone please clarify whether the backing on insulation in the attic within the roof joists faces in towards the roof deck or out exposed. It seems to be a fire hazard out but I cannot find where the info states that. This would be in a attic area off of a FROG. Picture included

    Thanks, Jim

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Paper backed insulation should not be left exposed.
    All paper backed insulation I have seen has that printed on the paper back.
    Check the manufacturers website.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Thanks Rick! Have a great day!

    Jim


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    This is the installation


    The kraft facing on this product will burn and must not be left exposed. It must be covered with
    gypsum board or another approved interior finish. Where an exposed application is required, use FSK-25
    flame-resistant faced insulation.


    http://www.jmhomeowner.com/products/...KraftFaced.pdf

    So, it looks like there is a flame resistant facing available.
    Check to see if is the type is installed.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY View Post
    Would someone please clarify whether the backing on insulation in the attic within the roof joists faces in towards the roof deck or out exposed.
    This would be dependent upon your climate. For my neck of the woods the retarder should face the conditioned areas.

    I've never made an issue of exposed paper backing. In my experience people move in with all kinds of exposed combustibles so the paper seems to be a moot point. Also consider that today's homes burn faster than homes of a few years ago (no, the codes don't consider or reference this) so again I don't see where the paper makes much of a difference.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    This would be dependent upon your climate. For my neck of the woods the retarder should face the conditioned areas.

    I've never made an issue of exposed paper backing. In my experience people move in with all kinds of exposed combustibles so the paper seems to be a moot point. Also consider that today's homes burn faster than homes of a few years ago (no, the codes don't consider or reference this) so again I don't see where the paper makes much of a difference.
    "so again I don't see where the paper makes much of a difference"

    It makes one heck of a difference when you are the one in the house which is on fire!

    Having combustible materials/storage in the attic is in no way comparable to having a nice even combustible covering across the entire attic where flame can spread across the attic quickly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    I think that you guys should look at the bigger picture.

    In 1970 it was estimated that you had 17 minutes to get out of a burning home. Today that number is down the 3 minutes. Thanks to more petroleum products and synthetics as well as more open floor plans the fires now burn hotter and faster. And consider that fire departments will generally avoid interior attacks when wood I-Joists are present due to their quick failure when burned.

    Also, consider that the ionization smoke detectors, which comprise 90-95% of the detectors sold, are unreliable. So no, having the paper on rolled insulation exposed just doesn't seem all that significant in the grand scheme of fire safety and in my view not much different than many exposed window treatments.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I think that you guys should look at the bigger picture.

    In 1970 it was estimated that you had 17 minutes to get out of a burning home. Today that number is down the 3 minutes. Thanks to more petroleum products and synthetics as well as more open floor plans the fires now burn hotter and faster. And consider that fire departments will generally avoid interior attacks when wood I-Joists are present due to their quick failure when burned.
    Eric,

    Okay, looking at the bigger picture which *you* provided tells us that the products now installed in homes allows/causes them to burn FASTER ... and yet here you are saying that it is *okay* to leave exposed a product which known to catch fire and spread fire fast ... ????

    That just does not make ANY sense.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Waterloo, Ontario
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    The insulation in the photo appears to be behind a knee wall. If this is the case, there is a fire separation between the insulation and the habitable area of the house.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Quote Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
    The insulation in the photo appears to be behind a knee wall. If this is the case, there is a fire separation between the insulation and the habitable area of the house.
    David,

    The fire separation is not required "between" the facing and the habitable area, the drywall is required to be 'substantially in contact with' the facing. In the photo, with that knee wall, that becomes a concealed area and the fire could be a raging inferno before anyone knew it was on fire, the intent and reason for the facing to be substantially in contact with the drywall is that the fire would not spread across facing (at least not like it would when exposed) because of that contact with the drywall.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That just does not make ANY sense.
    Chalk it up to living in the Midwest and breathing in too many fertilizers.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  12. #12
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    Mar 2007
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    Waterloo, Ontario
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Jerry,

    I don't disagree that covering it with drywall would be the safest solution. It would not be required here by our Fire Code.


  13. #13
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    Dec 2009
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    Florida
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    552

    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY View Post
    Good Morning!

    Would someone please clarify whether the backing on insulation in the attic within the roof joists faces in towards the roof deck or out exposed. It seems to be a fire hazard out but I cannot find where the info states that. This would be in a attic area off of a FROG. Picture included

    Thanks, Jim
    It appears that you may have two moisture barriers between the habitual space and the outside of the house. Does the inner wall have a moisture barrier as well as the roof?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
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    217

    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Paper faced insulation actually uses a petroleum based adhesive. A big problem is that the paper will catch fire easily, followed by the petroleum that will burn hot. This when spread across a significant area of a home gives it the potential of having a small fire that would be isolated normally, if just wood, to a fire spreading throughout the home within a few minutes or seconds.

    Would you coat paper in diesel fuel and hang it over your children's bedroom and still think it not a hazard (enough to report)?
    That is just about the how fast kraft paper facing burns. I call it out every time I see it. I also use a bold, red font

    (I have also been an insulation contractor for 27 years and have seen this idiotic practice of exposed kraft batts all the time)


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Quote Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
    Jerry,

    I don't disagree that covering it with drywall would be the safest solution. It would not be required here by our Fire Code.
    David,

    Wouldn't it be covered by the code as all products are to be installed in accordance with their approvals, labeling, and installation instructions? If not, one could use any product for any use they could manage to make it work for?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
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    217

    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    David,

    Wouldn't it be covered by the code as all products are to be installed in accordance with their approvals, labeling, and installation instructions? If not, one could use any product for any use they could manage to make it work for?
    Agree! All Manufacturers label it on every Kraft faced batt (that I have seen) in very explicit terms!
    (i do believe manufacturer recommendations/instructions/warnings even trump code, especially if the recommendations are of a stricter nature)


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Erwin, TN
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Insulation backing

    I agree, paper backing is a flame hazard and must be covered.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Insulation backing

    From the bulletin below-

    Important: Many standard insulation facings will burn and must not be left exposed in an occupied building . Standard facings must be covered with gypsum board or another code-approved interior finish . Use only flame-resistant facings for exposed applications . See ICAA Technical Bulletin No . 27 and No . 28 for details .


    check this out-
    http://www.insulate.org/tb6.pdf

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Insulation backing

    I see it often and it is always wrong. They need to use unfaced insulation, cover the insulation or remove it. If the manufacture says it is wrong, I don't think I would go against what they are saying.

    This is from a new home inspection last week.

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    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee Wa
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    301

    Default Re: Insulation backing

    Scott, That requires an installer to read. We would not want that would we ; )

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

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